Hendricks County Parks & Recreation is creating a Comprehensive Master Plan (CMP) for 2021-25 that will establish our goals and priorities for the next five years. Our current CMP expires at the end of 2020.
Once our new CMP is approved by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR), our department will be eligible to apply for a number of grants through the DNR. The document will also be used as an overarching guide for the Park Board and our staff as we continue to develop our existing parks and trails and look toward future expansion.
One vital component of a CMP is gathering feedback from the citizens that we serve. The DNR requires that we survey a random sample and a non-random sample of respondents, as well as holding a meeting for public input.
The meeting for public input will be held on Monday, Dec. 7, 2020, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Hendricks County Government Center, 355 S. Washington Street in Danville, in Meeting Rooms 4&5. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend. To view a ROUGH DRAFT of the 2021-25 CMP ahead of the public input meeting, click here.
Here are the random and non-random results of our survey.
According to the most recent U.S. Census Bureau information, there are 58,078 households in Hendricks County. To create our random sample, we obtained a list of all residential mailing addresses in the county and then selected every 23rd address on that list. That resulted in a sample size of 2,525 households.
Utilizing the Tailored Design Method (Dillman, Smyth, and Christian, 2014), we sent surveys directly to all 2,525 households in our random sample. After two months, we received a total of 563 usable responses for a response rate 22.3%.
This gives us a 95% confidence level with a 4.03% margin of error. That is to say, if we were to survey every single household in Hendricks County, there is a 95% chance that our random sample results would be within +/- 4.03% of the results of every single household. The 95% confidence level is the most commonly used threshold for sampling, and our 4.03% margin of error is well within the standard of 5% margin of error.
In a nutshell, we can confidently assume that our random sample results accurately portray the views of all Hendricks County households.
A handful of non-random sample responses trickled in while HCP&R focused on the random sample, but HCP&R’s effort to collect non-random samples began in earnest in late September and early October of 2020.
HCP&R created a page on their website with a link to the online survey and a downloadable paper survey. That page was advertised on the department’s Facebook page and then shared in a multitude of local chatter groups on Facebook that represent Hendricks County communities.
This process was repeated weekly throughout the month of October.
Additionally, 250 paper surveys were printed out and placed at the McCloud Nature Center and at the HCP&R main office. Visitors at both locations were encouraged by HCP&R staff members to complete the survey.
An email with a link to the online survey was sent to the Hendricks County Council, the Hendricks County Commissioners, and the HCP&R staff, inviting all of them to respond to the survey as stakeholders. Paper copies of the survey were also provided to all three entities.
We received a total of 245 non-random sample responses.
Non-random sample responses cannot be extended to the opinions of all Hendricks County households; however, they provide HCP&R will additional valuable input from stakeholders and some members of the community.